Gary,

Even though you expressed dismay at (presumably) my reference to Dickey, I figured I’d chime in on my experience at the Tweeter Center, because you are exactly right. I have been attending shows at this venue for at least 12 years, and since about 1998 things have just been steadily going down hill.

Their decision to pave the majority of the lawn is a travesty. Un-mother-f’ing-forgivable. There can be no justification for that decision other than the fact that they can now charge $10 more per person on that section of the “lawn.” What remains of the lawn, even when there is grass on it, is so small that it cant handle the transient movement. By this I mean that at any concert in a venue of that size, there is always going to be a certain segment of the crowd that is moving at any given time (to the bathrooms or whatever) and the smaller the “free movement” area the more the movement disrupts the experience for people trying to actually enjoy the concert there. Furthermore, its my experience that a lot of concert-goers, who dont actually have lawn tickets, end up on the lawn. When the lawn is so small, this becomes a huge problem, since the venue makes no effort whatsoever to make sure that people entering the lawn have a lawn ticket. By making the lawn that small, not only have they destroyed what was left of what was only a half-decent shed to begin with, but they have succeeded in practically guaranteeing a sh*tty experience for anyone choosing to sit there.

Your comments about the sound system are right on. The thing I don’t get is that in 1998 I saw ABB there as well as Page & Plant (and several others) and the volume was practically painful at the edge of the pavillion and still quite adequate at the back of the lawn, which seems to no longer be the case. Part of the reason so many people talk during shows is that the volume never reaches an immersive level outside the first tier of seats. I’m the first person to complain when a concert is too loud, so this isnt some rant about how everything should be cranked up to 12, but rather a call for a good average volume and an effort to provide good sound to the lawn.

As for the Masshole crowd, I feel your pain. I was born in Mass, but got out early enough to avoid becoming a Masshole, and I’ve spent most of my time in Pittsburgh (a great city to see a show in if you ask me) and the attitude and disregard for the experience of others is truly remarkable. And here is a not so veiled screw you to the Masshole standing in the aisle three rows back from my seat screaming “Who’s a Hulk-a-maniac!?” at every passer-by throughout the second half of the show.

The last thing I want to rant about while I’m pointing out all the ways in which the Tweeter Center sucks ass is the issue of drinking in the parking lots. I understand that technically speaking, Mansfield town law prohibits drinking in the parking lot. I could complain all day about how stupid and silly this is, but its pointless. My big objection is to the absolutely rediculous way in which this law is “enforced.” If the law says “no drinking” and as a venue, they want to keep people from drinking in the parking lots then they need to uniformly enforce this law. What I saw yesterday blew my mind. The two cars next to me were blatantly targetted by the police for some reason that I cant understand. Almost instantaneously, with no warning, a crew of about 8 cops descend on these two cars, for no apparent reason, giving the usual Tweeter Center lecture on drinking in the parking lot. The situation escalated when they discovered that the owner of the car was under 21. After threatening to arrest everyone, voiding all their tickets and illegally searching one of the cars, they proceed to kick them out, when obviously not one person in the group was sober enough to drive. That is just wrong on so many levels. All the while, everyone from the surrounding cars continues to drink, in plain view, with no consequences. One car down the row had even set up a beer pong table of some kind. It was utterly rediculous. I can’t say I was shocked, but I can say that things tend to be a lot friendlier overall at venues like Post-Gazette Pavilion (formerly Star Lake Amphitheater) in Pittsburgh and Blossom Music Center in Ohio where apparently drinking in the lots by people over 21 is legal.

The problem is that Tweeter Center will never change unless the fans speak with their wallets by not buying tickets, but given the choice between seeing my favorite bands at a sh*tty venue or not at all, I feel forced to patronize the hell hole that Great Woods has become. I’m moving back to Pennsylvania this week (in time to catch ABB out there 🙂 ) and the Tweeter Center is not an experience I will miss.

Ok — done ranting.

Leave a Reply